When Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun was thought to have been the latest victim of Islamist terror-- thought to have been kidnapped and beheaded--I composed a post that started like this:
It’s becoming nearly routine; kidnap-demand-behead, kidnap-demand-behead.
It was a Marine this time. And an Arab Muslim, for diversity’s sake.
"We would like to inform you that the Marine of Lebanese descent has been killed, and you will soon see the movie with your own eyes," said the statement, signed in the name of the group's [Ansar al-Sunna Army] leader, Abu Abdullah al-Hassan bin Mahmoud.Well, it’s a good thing that my slight case of blogger-burnout was raging at its height then. As it turns out, Corporal Hassoun is free and in the custody of the US military (registration required) after a strange and suspicious sojourn that ended with his voluntary entrance into the US Embassy in his native Lebanon.
What occurred between the time of Corporal Hassoun’s alleged abduction and that of his return to US custody will likely present a fascinating story, complicated by the following:
Hassoun had disappeared from his Marine base near Fallujah on June 19 and later was shown on al-Jazeera satellite television, blindfolded, with a sword hanging over his head. A group calling itself Islamic Response asserted responsibility for his kidnapping and threatened to kill him.
A militant group claiming to be the Ansar al-Sunna Army said on a Web site Saturday that it had beheaded the Marine. But the group said Sunday that it had not issued the statement, and a posting on another Internet site said Hassoun was alive.
On Monday, al-Jazeera reported that it had received a report from Islamic militants saying that Hassoun was in a safe place and had promised to quit the Marines.
On Wednesday, reports surfaced that he was in Lebanon.[SNIP]
But in Tripoli, 50 miles north of Beirut, where Hassoun's family lives, a fight broke out and a relative of Hassoun shot and killed two people and injured a third person, Lebanese officials reported. Other Tripoli residents had accused Hassoun of being a traitor because he left Lebanon and fought with the Marines in Iraq, his brother said.
The family member, Mohamad Said Hassoun, was arrested in the killings, according to internal security forces in Tripoli.
"Everybody here is calling us traitors," Sami Hassoun said. "I think somebody pushed those people to this to try to hurt my family and my relatives. There's no background for these things." [SNIP]
Hassoun was reported not to have returned to Utah since joining the Marines. He had been married to an American, but they divorced. His family said he married his new wife, a cousin, by proxy several months ago. His father signed the marriage contract for him, under Islamic law.According to other reports read, the new wife is in Lebanon. Curiouser and curiouser.
My prediction: what we have here is a simple case of a marine with divided loyalties and with a "Love Jones" thrown in for good measure. As a marine, Hassoun swore to fulfill his oath, but as a Muslim he feels himself bound to another allegiance. Do the two allegiance’s clash? Possibly—at least in the mind of Hassoun--especially when the designated enemy is Muslim as well. Pour into the mix a portion of the family still residing in Lebanon, catching Hell, literally, for Hassoun’s marine service, along with his Islamic and husbandly duties toward a presumably sight-unseen Lebanese wife. But then, what does Hassoun do? He turns himself in, likelybeing pulled by his other sworn allegiance in the opposite direction.
There’s a full pot of mystery and feces boiling over here, for sure.
What's a nation to do, one that prides itself on freedom of and from religion?
UPDATE: Corporal Hassoun's family sends a message to their fellow Muslims, attempting to explain the US military service of their kinsman.
In Hassoun's native city of Tripoli, his family issued a statement saying he was forced to go to the United States and join the Marines because of the deteriorating economic situation caused by Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war.
The statement appeared aimed at countering criticism by some fundamentalist Sunni Muslims in Tripoli who accused Hassoun's family of being "American agents and collaborators." It stressed the family's Arab and Islamic ties, and its loyalty to Lebanon.
"We are a family of Lebanese Arab Muslims. We are not seeking to defend ourselves," the Hassoun family's statement said. "But we would like to thank the Lebanese for sympathizing with one of their sons (Hassoun) who was pushed by the difficult living conditions in their home country to emigrate and forced to work in a position that they may not like."Divided loyalties, indeed.
(Thanks to LGF)